MIT Sloan Health Systems Initiative

Healthcare Lab Poster Session: Eight Student Teams Presented Results of their Real-world Projects

Healthcare Lab, one of the required courses for the MIT Sloan healthcare certificate, is an opportunity for students to gain insight into real-world  challenges in healthcare. Working in teams of three to four, the students gain experiences working with senior leaders and build skills to help organizations move to action.

Similar to previous years, project hosts came from both the private and public sectors, with several of them from local hospitals. The challenges presented to the teams ran the gamut from developing a market entry strategy, to process optimization, to integration of new programs to make processes more efficient. No matter the scope of the project, students called on a wide array of business skills and methods including scenario  and optimization modeling. These most recent tools and trends were supplemented by interviews and observation to create a full picture of the issues at hand and possible plans of action.

The class of 27 students from 12 different degree programs formed eight teams. On February 2, 2024 each team presented their project to an audience, which included representatives from the host organizations. In each case, the presenter defined the problem their team was tasked to address, explained the strategy and tactics they employed to address the challenge, and concluded with actionable recommendations.

The organizations and sponsors this year were:

• Boston Children's Hospital - Urology Care Access Optimization

• Boston Medical Center - Regionalization to Streamline Care

• Boston Medical Center - Transport Process Improvement

• Dana Farber Cancer Institute - AI for Quality and Safety

• Lahey Hospital - Systemic Integration of a Hospital at Home Program

• Novartis - Clinical Trials Improvement via Digital Health Innovations

• OXFO - US Market Entry Strategy

• Synthera Health - Digital Health for Primary Care Nutrition-related Conditions

For more details, see the Healthcare Lab presentations.

Several project hosts attended the session and expressed their appreciation for the students’ work. Dana Farber appreciated that their team explored how the “Department of Quality and Patient Safety at Dana Farber can leverage the potential of AI while also balancing the risks that it presents.”  At Novartis, hosts were pleasantly surprised by “how many options there were” in the MIT team's recommendations.

About two-thirds of the students in Healthcare Lab had prior healthcare employment. Some were starting to explore the field while others had many years' experience. Both their previous positions and their varied courses of study make Healthcare Lab teams diverse and contribute to their success. All the teams completed challenging projects that provided value both to them and to the healthcare leaders who took the time to host them.